Category Archives: Bush

Jennifer Rubin Is A Rubbishy Writer

Bush, Conservatism, English, Literature, Neoconservatism

This New York Review of Books reviewer suggests that the tedious neoconservative, Jennifer Rubin, made prominent for her banality, is reminiscent of the late Molly Ivins, who was an old-school, acerbic, liberal columnist.

Rubbish.

Ivins coined memorable monikers for George Bush such as “Shrub” and “Dubya.”

Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol was a neoconservative writer, organizer, and theorist for a quarter-century, at the barricades on controversies from health care reform to the Iraq War (he was also the most important promoter of Sarah Palin, who embodied Trumpism before Trump became Trump). Now he regularly issues withering tweets about Trump and is a fixture on the liberal-leaning MSNBC. The foreign policy writer Max Boot was a vocal and at times strident champion of the Bush Doctrine. These days he’s a ferocious and shrewd critic of the president. Washington Post blogger-columnist Jennifer Rubin was, among prominent conservative pundits, probably Mitt Romney’s most aggressive defender in 2012 and aside from that was known for her hard-line foreign policy views, particularly on matters relating to Israel. Now, her columns often read as if they could have been written by the late Molly Ivins. (Two recent Rubin headlines: “Trump Retreats on Iran, and He Will Need to Do So Again”; “The Enablers of the Racist President Are Back at It.”)

David Frum is also a much better writer than Israel Firster, Ms. Rubin.

MORE.

The Memo: 1 Case of How The Bush-Created FISA Deep-State Court Treats Its American Subjects

Bush, Constitution, Democrats, Donald Trump, Government, Intelligence, Law, Republicans, The State

Let’s not forget that George Bush created the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), and Republicans keep voting to keep it, despite the Court’s enormous potential for abuse. Republicans have helped create and perpetuate this Deep-State apparatus.

The PDF document transcribes poorly and crudely to text. But I was not about to change even the formatting. So, here it is:

*****************
THE WHITE HOUSE

WASHINGTON
February 2, 2018

The Honorable Devin Nunes

Chairman, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman:

On January 29, 2018, the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (hereinafter ?the
Committee?) voted to disclose publicly a memorandum containing classified information
provided to the Committee in connection with its oversight activities (the ?Memorandum,?
which is attached to this letter). As provided by clause 11(g) of Rule of the House of Representatives, the Committee has forwarded this Memorandum to the President based on its
determination that the release of the Memorandum would serve the public interest.

The Constitution vests the President with the authority to protect national security secrets from it disclosure. As the Supreme Court has recognized, it is the President?s responsibility to classify, declassify, and control access to information bearing on our intelligence sources and methods and national defense. See, Dep of Navy v. Egan, 484 US. 518, 527 (1988). In order to
facilitate appropriate congressional oversight, the Executive Branch may entrust classi?ed
information to the appropriate committees of Congress, as it has done in connection with the
Committee?s oversight activities here. The Executive Branch does so on the assumption that the Committee will responsibly protect such classi?ed information, consistent with the laws of the United States.

The Committee has now determined that the release of the Memorandum would be appropriate. The Executive Branch, across Administrations of both parties, has worked to accommodate congressional requests to declassify speci?c materials in the public interest.1 However, public release of classi?ed information by unilateral action of the Legislative Branch is extremely rare and raises signi?cant separation of powers concerns. Accordingly, the Committees request to release the Memorandum is interpreted as a request for declassi?cation pursuant to the President’s authority.

The President understands that the protection of our national security represents his highest
obligation. Accordingly, he has directed lawyers and national security staff to assess the

1 See, e. S. Rept. 114?8 at 12 (Administration of Barack Obama) (?On April 3, 2014 . . . the Committee agreed to
send the revised Findings and Conclusions, and the updated Executive Summary of the Committee Study, to the
President for declassi?cation and public release?); H. Rept. 107-792 (Administration of George W. Bush) (similar);
E.O. 12812 (Administration of George H.W. Bush) (noting Senate resolution requesting that President provide for
declassi?cation of certain information Via Executive Order).
1.

declassification request, consistent with established standards governing the handling of
classi?ed information, including those under Section 3.1(d) of Executive Order 13526. Those
standards permit declassi?cation when the public interest in disclosure outweighs any need to
protect the information. The White House review process also included input from the Of?ce of
the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Justice. Consistent with this review
and these standards, the President has determined that declassification of the Memorandum is
appropriate.

Based on this assessment and in light of the signi?cant public interest in the memorandum, the
President has authorized the declassi?cation of the Memorandum. To be clear, the Memorandum re?ects the judgments of its congressional authors. The President understands
that oversight concerning matters related to the Memorandum may be continuing. Though the
circumstances leading to the declassi?cation through this process are extraordinary, the
Executive Branch stands ready to work with Congress to accommodate oversight requests
consistent with applicable standards and processes, including the need to protect intelligence
sources and methods.

Sincerely,

Donald F. McGahn II

Counsel to the President

cc: The Honorable Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives

The Honorable Adam Schiff
Ranking Member, House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence

2.

DeclasSi?ed by order of the President
February 2, 2018

January 18, 2018

To: HPSCI Majority Members
From: HPSCI Majority Staff
Subject: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Abuses at the Department of Justice and the

Federal Bureau of Investigation

Purpose

This memorandum provides Members an update on significant facts relating to the
Committee?s ongoing investigation into the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Bureau of
Investigation (FBI) and their use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F ISA) during the
2016 presidential election cycle. Our ?ndings, which are detailed below, 1) raise concerns with
the legitimacy and legality of certain DOJ and FBI interactions with the Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court (FISC), and 2) represent a troubling breakdown of legal processes established
to protect the American people from abuses related to the ISA process.

Investigation Update

– On October 21, 2016, DOJ and FBI sought and received a ISA probable cause order
(up; under Title VII) authorizing electronic surveillance on Carter Page from the FISC. Page is a
US citizen who served as a volunteer advisor to the Trump presidential campaign. Consistent .
with requirements under FISA, the application had to be ?rst certi?ed by the Director or Deputy
Director of the FBI. It then required the approval of the Attorney General, Deputy Attorney
General (DAG), or the Senate?con?rmed Assistant Attorney General for the National Security
Division.

The FBI and DOJ obtained one initial FISA warrant targeting Carter Page and three FISA
renewals from the FISC. As required by statute (50 U.S.C. a FISA order on an American citizen must be renewed by the ISC every 90 days and each renewal requires a separate finding of probable cause. Then-Director James Comey signed three FISA applications in question on behalf of the FBI, and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe signed one. Sally Yates, then-Acting DAG Dana Boente, and DAG Rod Rosenstein each signed one or more FISA applications on behalf of Due to the sensitive nature of foreign intelligence activity, FISA submissions (including renewals) before the ISC are classified. As such, the public?s con?dence in the integrity of the FISA process depends on the court?s ability to hold the government to the highest standard?? particularly as it relates to surveillance of American citizens. However, the rigor in protecting the rights of Americans, which is reinforced by 90?day renewals of surveillance orders, is necessarily dependent on the government?s production to the court of all material and relevant facts. This should include information potentially favorable to the target of the FISA

PROPERTY OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
3.

application that is known by the government. In the case of Carter Page, the government had at
least four independent opportunities before the FISC to accurately provide an accounting of the
relevant facts. However, our ?ndings indicate that, as described below, material and relevant
information was omitted.

1)

2)

The ?dossier?- compiled by Christopher Steele (Steele dossier) on behalf of the
Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Hillary Clinton campaign formed an
essential part of the Carter Page FISA application. Steele was a longtime FBI source who
was paid over $160,000 by the DNC and Clinton campaign, via the law ?rm Perkins Coie
and research ?rm Fusion GPS, to obtain derogatory information on Donald Trump?s ties
to Russia.

a) Neither the initial application in October 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or
reference the role of the DNC, Clinton campaign, or. any party/campaign in funding
Steele?s efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then
known to senior and FBI of?cials.

b) The initial FISA application notes Steele was working for a named US. person, but
does not name Fusion GPS and principal Glenn Simpson, who was paid by a US. law
?rm (Perkins Coie) representing the DNC (even though it was known by DOI at the,
time that political actors were involved with the Steele dossier). The application does
not mention Steele was ultimately working on behalf of?and paid by?wthe DNC and
Clinton campaign, or that the FBI had separately authorized payment to Steele for the
same information.

The Carter Page FISA application also cited extensively a September 23, 2016, Yahoo
News article by- Michael Isikoff, which focuses on Page?s July 2016 trip to Moscow.

– This article does not corroborate the Steele dossier because it is derived from information

leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News. The Page FISA application incorrectly assesses
that Steele did not directly provide information to Yahoo News. Steele has admitted in
British court ?lings that he met with Yahoo Newly?and several other. outlets?in
September 2016 at the direction of Fusion GPS. Perkins Coie was aware of Steele?s
initial media contacts because they hosted at least one meeting in Washington DC. in
2016 with Steele and Fusion GPS where this matter was discussed.”

a) Steele was suspended and then terminated as an FBI source for what the FBI de?nes
as the most serious of violations?an unauthorized disclosure to the media of his
relationship with the FBI in an October 30, 2016, Mother Jones article by David
Corn Steele should have been terminated for his previous undisclosed contacts with
Yahoo and other outlets’ 1n September?before the Page application was submitted to

PROPERTY OF THE US. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
4.

3)

4)

the FISC in October-but Steele improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about
those contacts.

b) Steele?s numerous encounters with the media violated the cardinal rule of source
handling?maintaining con?dentiality?and demonstrated that Steele had become a
less than reliable source for the FBI.

Before and after Steele was terminated as a source, he maintained contact with DOJ via
then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce 0hr, a senior DOJ of?cial who worked
closely with Deputy Attorneys General Yates and later Rosenstein. Shortly after the
election, the FBI began interviewing 0hr, documenting his communications with Steele.
For example, in September 2016, Steele admitted to 0hr his feelings against then-
candidate Trump when Steele said he ?was desperate that Donald Trump not get
elected and was passionate about him not, being president.? This clear evidence of Steele? bias was recorded by Ohr at the time and subsequently in of?cial FBI ?les?but
not re?ected in any of the Page FISA applications.

a) During this same time period, Ohr?s wife was employed by Fusion GPS to assist in
the cultivation of opposition research on Trump. Ohr later provided the FBI with all
of his wife?s opposition research, paid for by the DNC and Clinton campaign via
Fusion GPS. The Ohrs? relationship with Steele and Fusion GPS was inexplicably
concealed from the FISC. .

According to the head of the counterintelligence division, Assistant Director Bill Priestap, corroboration of the Steele dossier was in its ?infancy? at the time of the initial Page FISA application. After Steele was terminated, a source validation report conducted by an independent unit within FBI assessed Steele?s reporting as only minimally corroborated. Yet, in early January 2017, Director Comey briefed President-elect Trump on a summary of the Steele dossier, even though it was??according to his June 2017 and unveri?ed.? While the FISA application relied on Steele?s past record of credible reporting on other unrelated matters, it ignored or concealed his anti?Trump ?nancial and ideological motivations. Furthermore, Deputy Director

McCabe testi?ed before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

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PROPERTY OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
5.

5) The Page FISA application also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign
advisor George Papadopoulos, but there is no evidence of any cooperation or conspiracy
between Page and Papadopoulos. The Papadopoulos information triggered the opening
of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Pete Strzok.
Strzok was reassigned by the Special Counsel?s Office to FBI Human Resources for
improper text messages with his mistress, FBI Attorney Lisa Page (no known relation to
Carter Page), where they both demonstrated a clear bias against Trump and in favor of
Clinton, Whom Strzok had also investigated. The Strzok/Lisa Page texts also re?ect
extensive discussions about the investigation, orchestrating leaks to the media, and
include a meeting with Deputy Director McCabe to discuss an ?insurance? policy against
President Trump?s election.

I

PROPERTY OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
6.

“Pathway To Citizenship”: What Will Happen If President Trump Says Those Words, Tomorrow

Bush, Donald Trump, IMMIGRATION, Neoconservatism, Republicans

A source who shall remain anonymous writes:

If tomorrow night President Donald Trump utters the words “pathway to citizenship,” it will mark one of the biggest betrayals of the modern era and the effective end of his presidency.

1) He will cause the 2018 midterms to be a Democratic victory as a significant part of the demoralized and disillusioned base stays home and we lose the House – and perhaps even the senate.

2) Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will impeach him in the House.

3) A Democrat-controlled Senate will proceed with a trial. A Republican-controlled Senate will not proceed with trial but nothing Trump wants will come out of the House and his “America First” agenda will be neutralized.

4) Trump will be challenged from the Right in the 2020 presidential primaries.

My well-connected source’s own sources tell him that, “Trump is proceeding down this road of self-immolation”:

The Koch brothers successfully infiltrated their agent, Marc Short, into the inner sanctum. Short, who led the Koch’s Never Trump movement in 2016, has teamed up with Establishment lackey Kirstjen Nielsen [with whom I was actually quite taken] and the princess regent Ivanka [whom I’ve grown to detest] to sideline and neutralize Stephen Miller, the last remaining voice for immigration sanity. [First they came for Steve Bannon, now it’s Steve Miller’s turn.]

Trump is being pushed off the cliff with all the happy talk from this cabal, buttressed by Lindsay Graham, Marco Rubio, Jeff Flake and Paul Ryan. In summation, the entire rabid Never Trump partisans are now in control of POTUS and are succeeding in getting him to do their immigration policy:

Amnesty now. Enforcement later, maybe.

No effectual changes to chain migration for at least ten years since all pre-existing applicants for green cards are grandfathered in . That’s at least a ten-year backlog.

This is the 1986 Bill on steroids.

The headline, all over conservative and populist media on Wednesday morning will be one word: betrayal.

We who want Trump to succeed have been trying to head this off all week, since this country killing plan was first floated in the press. Seemingly to no avail. Trump is cocooned, just as he was and continues to be on foreign policy. He’s captive to the neocon interventionists AND now to the open borders, cheap-labor lobby as well.

It’s as if we had elected JEB Bush.

This is NOT America First.

What a colossal disappointment. On Wednesday morning Trump supporters will be in disarray, the Conservative movement will be fractured and, once again, Republicans will be at each other’s throats – as the Kochs, the Bushes, Bill Kristol and all the other members of the Never Trump cabal are filled with glee and satisfaction as they celebrate the beginning of the end of his presidency.

UPDATED (1/18): 3 Out Of Every 4 Individuals Convicted Of Terrorism In U.S. Were Foreign-Born

Bush, Crime, Donald Trump, Islam, Terrorism

This is remarkable. For the first time, the DOJ has provided data about the number of immigrants responsible for terrorism in the USA. The publication of these data, courtesy of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is, really, a story about the level of deception that went before. And no! If anything, lies about the immigration-terrorism link began with George Bush, not with Barack Obama.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018
DOJ, DHS Report: Three Out of Four Individuals Convicted of International Terrorism and Terrorism-Related Offenses were Foreign-Born
Departments of Justice and Homeland Security Release Data for the First Time on Terrorism-Related Activity

Today, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a report, revealing that three out of every four, or 402, individuals convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016 were foreign-born. Over the same period, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed approximately 1,716 aliens with national security concerns. Further, in 2017 alone, DHS had 2,554 encounters with individuals on the terrorist watch list (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States.

This report was required by Section 11 of President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, which declared that “it is the policy of the United States to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks, including those committed by foreign nationals,” directed a series of actions to enhance the security and safety of the American people. The actions directed by Executive Order have raised the baseline for the vetting and screening of foreign nationals, prevented the entry of malicious actors, and enhanced the safety and security of the American people.

“This report reveals an indisputable sobering reality—our immigration system has undermined our national security and public safety,” said Attorney General Sessions. “And the information in this report is only the tip of the iceberg: we currently have terrorism-related investigations against thousands of people in the United States, including hundreds of people who came here as refugees. Our law enforcement professionals do amazing work, but it is simply not reasonable to keep asking them to risk their lives to enforce the law while we admit thousands every year without sufficient knowledge about their backgrounds. The pillars of President Trump’s immigration policy—securing our porous borders, moving to a merit-based immigration system that ends the use of diversity visas and chain migration, and enforcing our nation’s laws—will make their jobs easier and make the United States a safer place.”

“My top priority as Secretary of Homeland Security is to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” said Secretary Nielsen. “This report is a clear reminder of why we cannot continue to rely on immigration policy based on pre-9/11 thinking that leaves us woefully vulnerable to foreign-born terrorists, and why we must examine our visa laws and continue to intensify screening and vetting of individuals traveling to the United States to prevent terrorists, criminals, and other dangerous individuals from reaching our country. Without legislative change, DHS will continue to see thousands of terrorists a year attempt to enter the United States, and while we must be right every time, the terrorists only need to be lucky once. Therefore, DHS has personnel deployed around the world and along our borders working with our global and domestic law enforcement partners to stop terrorists before they enter the homeland.”

The report reveals that at least 549 individuals were convicted of international terrorism-related charges in U.S. federal courts between September 11, 2001, and December 31, 2016. An analysis conducted by DHS determined that approximately 73 percent (402 of these 549 individuals) were foreign-born. Breaking down the 549 individuals by citizenship status at the time of their respective convictions reveals that:

254 were not U.S. citizens;
148 were foreign-born, naturalized and received U.S. citizenship; and,
147 were U.S. citizens by birth.

According to information available to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), since September 11, 2001, there were approximately 1,716 removals of aliens with national security concerns.

As mentioned above, in FY 2017, DHS encountered 2,554 individuals on the terrorist watchlist (also known as the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database) traveling to the United States. Of those individuals, 335 were attempting to enter by land, 2,170 were attempting to enter by air, and 49 were attempting to enter by sea. Where consistent with the law, such individuals are denied entry into the United States, while in some cases law enforcement authorities are notified and can take appropriate action.

From October 1, 2011, to September 30, 2017, a total of 355,345 non-U.S. citizen offenders, were administratively arrested after previously being convicted of an aggravated felony, as defined in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(43), or two or more crimes each punishable by more than one year (felony offenses). During that same period, a total of 372,098 non-U.S. citizen offenders were removed from the United States after conviction of an aggravated felony or two or more felonies.

Data from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate shows that between 2007 and 2017, USCIS referred 45,858 foreign nationals who applied for immigration benefits to ICE for criminal or civil enforcement action, based on information indicating that such foreign nationals had committed egregious public safety-related offenses within the United States.

Between FY 2010 and FY 2016, CBP identified and prevented the boarding of 73,261 foreign travelers on flights destined for the United States, who may have presented an immigration or security risk.

In October, the Trump Administration sent to Congress a list of legislative priorities that would enhance our national security—such as eliminating the diversity visa lottery and extended family chain migration, funding the wall, closing loopholes in our asylum system, combating visa overstays, and closing other loopholes in existing law that potentially benefit aliens who pose threats to our national security.

Background on the Executive Order

Section 11 of Executive Order requires the Secretary of Homeland Security, in consultation with the Attorney General, to collect and make publicly available the following information:

Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been charged with terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; convicted of terrorism-related offenses while in the United States; or removed from the United States based on terrorism-related activity, affiliation with or provision of material support to a terrorism-related organization, or any other national-security-related reasons;
Information regarding the number of foreign nationals in the United States who have been radicalized after entry into the United States and who have engaged in terrorism-related acts, or who have provided material support to terrorism-related organizations in countries that pose a threat to the United States;
Information regarding the number and types of acts of gender-based violence against women, including so-called “honor killings,” in the United States by foreign nationals; and,
Any other information relevant to public safety and security as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security or the Attorney General, including information on the immigration status of foreign nationals charged with major offenses.

UPDATE (1/18): CRIME TOO: